At 2:30 Universal Time (10:30 a.m. local time) on August 13, 2015, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired an image of a dark plume drifting over the Bohai Sea off the east coast of China. About three hours later, the MODIS instrument on the Aqua satellite captured a second image of the plume after it had moved southeast toward the Shangdong Peninsula.
The source of the smoke appears to be industrial fires associated with two massive explosions that occurred late on August 12 at a port in Tianjin, China. Wildfires in eastern China likely produced the streams of light gray smoke also visible in the images.
References and Related Reading
- BBC (2015, August 13) China explosions: What we know about what happened in Tianjin. Accessed August 13, 2015.
- Japan Meteorological Agency via Colorado State University (2015, August 13) Himawari-8 natural-color. Accessed August 13, 2015.
- The New York Times (2015, August 13) Tianjin Explosions Leave Warehouse District a Smoky Ruin. Accessed August 13, 2015.
- Time (2015, August 13) As China Blast Toll Hits 50, Fears Mount Over Chemical Contamination. Accessed August 13, 2015.
- University of Wisconsin-Madison CIMSS Satellite Blog (2015, August 12) Explosion in Tianjin, China Accessed August 13, 2015.
NASA image by Joshua Stevens, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response. Caption by Adam Voiland, with assistance from Dan Lindsey (NOAA).
- Terra - MODIS
- Aqua - MODIS